Italy is not only one of the oldest and largest wine producing countries in the world (in terms of quantity, together with France, Italy is ranked number one or two each year), but also contains a large treasure of local grape varieties. 400 are officially approved, perhaps there are up to 2000.
The Italian wine has changed more in the last 50 Vears, than in many centuries before. It changed from a foodstuff to luxury food. The modern era began in 1963, when the first DOC areas were established. In 1980 the DOCG wines followed, the most famous of which are Barolo, Barbaresco, Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, Vino Nobile di Montepulciano and many others.
Wine is cultivated in every Italian province, even in alpine regions such as the Aosta Valley.